Renault Wind:A breath of fresh air in the world of roadsters
2004-04-05 - By Philip Byrne
Renault unveiled its new concept car Wind at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. This 2+1 roadster with a streamlined design and lively performance combines both flowing and structured lines.
The interior is elegant in accordance with the "Touch Design" concept, boasting a cabin that seems to be cloaked in leather. The controls put the emphasis on ergonomics and simplicity.
Undeniable charm and lively performance
"The exterior combines the sensuality of flowing lines with the dynamism of chamfered contours. The interior is reminiscent of a well-fitting glove. The result is a breath of fresh air in the world of roadsters," says Patrick le Quément, Wind's profile gives an impression of simplicity and consistency. It is made up of two defining lines. The first runs along the side of the car, curving into the front and rear wings and sweeping round the wheel arches.
The second line, even more apparent, envelops the cabin and underscores the impression of protectiveness. The powerful headlamps also contribute to Wind's appeal. They extend along the bonnet, highlighting the car's dynamism with a streamlined, elongated shape.
Despite their simple looks, the headlamps conceal complex technology. A powerful jet of blue-tinted light flows through a long transparent tube stretching across vertical glass covers.
The almond-shaped rear lamps continue the body silhouette with their sharp edge. Two powerful LEDs light up parallel glass covers, creating striking beams of light to the sides and rear. The arc of the panoramic windscreen extends around the sides of the car with a curve that incorporates the side windows. The cabin can be covered with a triplethickness fabric roof including a rounded rear glass window.The colour of Wind's bodywork is Aquamarine.
A simple, elegant and secure interior
The cabin is moulded around the driver and passengers. A large sheet of Sienna-coloured leather forms an enveloping cocoon. The pleated leather seats, Tobacco in colour, are elegant and comfortable. They are fixed, in tune with the "roadster" spirit, while the steering wheel and pedal assembly are adjustable and fold away automatically when the door is opened for easier access. Two folding leather-covered rollhoops form an extension of the rigid structure to which they are fitted.
Wind is a 2+1 roadster. The central section linking the backs of the two front seats is made of carbon fibre covered in foam and leather. It can be unhooked and turned inside out, forming a saddle shape that provides a third seat in the rear of the car. Despite its compact size (3.87 metres long), Wind is extremely roomy. The boot, lined with embossed leather, offers substantial luggage space (232 litres).
Simple, sophisticated controls
All the vehicle's controls feature an anodized aluminium finish for a muted look. In accordance with the "Touch Design" concept developed by Renault over the past three years, they put the emphasis on ergonomics, simplicity and clarity. A circular, centrally mounted control panel provides access to each set of functions for communications, music, navigation and services by means of a button in the middle of the circle. Data is displayed on a screen at the top of the dashboard.
The gearbox mode selector is also in the centre of the dashboard and is designed to be ergonomic. Gear shifting takes place using a paddle on the steering wheel.
The design of the speedometer-cum-revcounter dial is both simple and sophisticated. With an anodized aluminium surround, it is cut into a glass cylinder. Data is displayed in both analogue (a needle indicating speed) and digital form. Patches of blue followed by red move around the cylinder as the engine speed increases.
In the left-hand door of the vehicle, a push-button cylinder incorporating the air conditioning controls swings out towards the driver to display the temperature
in the cabin. The Wind roadster is fitted with a 136bhp 2.0 16V engine.
Overall length 3,870mm
Width excluding door mirrors 1,750mm
Front and rear track 1,510mm
Front overhang 800mm
Rear overhang 650mm
Engine Four-cylinder, normally aspirated 2.0 16V petrol engine (Euro 4)
Power 99kW / 136bhp with maximum torque of 191Nm
Gearbox Six-speed robotized gearbox
Tyres 245-35 / ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 2
Montupet Aluminium wheels
Valeo Radiators (made of folded modules which make them very flexible to use.
They are arched and can be adapted to the design of the vehicle's front end).